2019 Winter Games

As most of y'all are aware, I'm a runner (at least, I'm a person who runs).  And in my running circles, there's this guy nicknamed The Rabid Squirrel.  He puts on a bunch of crazy races throughout the year, and in order to run, you have to fail a sanity exam.  Yup.  The first time you ever run one of his races, you are given a nickname, which is then your forever running name for his events.  (If anyone is interested, my nickname is Tolkien Ghost Bees.)


 

And, once a year, he puts on The Winter Games.  Basically a crazy version of the Winter Olympics.  And this year, my brother and I participated.  My brother was on Team Norway, and I was on Team Palau (yes, that's a real place, look it up, lol).

Norway was hosting the games this year.

 
Basically, how this works, is all the events are split into three places - The Olympic Village, The Slopes, and The Track.  The teams (countries) are split into rotations, so there are always three teams at each place.  At noon we take a break for lunch and play Yukigassen, and then continue the rotations.  After everyone is done, the Hockey Championships are played.  Then comes the figure dancing, and then awards are given.  Sounds confusing, right?  YUP.

The Opening Ceremony

The torch is handed back and forth to a representative from each country, and they bring in their flag bearer.  Once all the flags are in, the games are open!
 
Norway lights the torch.
(Kids and fire and flags and wind...nothing could go wrong here!)

Canada representatives coming in.

Palau flag bearer.

Norway presents The Rabid Squirrel himself with a gift for putting on the games.
 

The Slopes

Alpine Running

Basically run downhill as fast as you can and weave between the flags.  Simple, right?  Yeah, try zipping around those at top speed on a steep hill with lots of roots.  But it was fun.

Lots of zigging and sagging and tripping.

Even kids got to compete for their teams (countries).
 

Bobsled and Luger

Sleds with wheels going downhill.  Oh, and you can't steer them.  And they like to go backwards or shoot off the road.  Also, don't fall off because that hurts.  And getting your thumb rolled over hurts to.  Oh - and don't get hit by a car.

Basically you start at the top of the hill, the timer shouts GO, and you push off and continue to push to get the sled to go as fast as you can.  Once you cross the line, the timer stops, and that time is recorded.  Now you can no longer push and must coast to a stop, trying to get as far as you can.  One the sled stops, stretch your hand (or foot, if you ended up backwards) as far as you can.  That's where your length is recorded.

Palau Captain...no steering available.

Greenland trying to achieve speed.

Watch out for the neighbors!
 
Snowballs

So there are no pictures to be found anywhere, since apparently everyone was 100% confused.  So read the instructions for yourself.
 

The Track

Ski Jump

Fairly self explanatory.  Get a running start, run up the ramp, and try to jump as far as you can.  Wherever your heel lands, that's where the length is recorded.  Just don't face or knee plant after impact.


It's harder than it looks...

My brother showing me how he jumped to win the gold medal.
 

Iditarod

Pulling a sled with weights a certain difference, being timed as to how long it takes you.  Women pull 100 lbs, men 140, young children either an empty sled or else a weight or two.  Basically trying to make everything even.


 

Ice Chucking

Stand at line, chuck ice as far as you can.  Don't hit the cars lining the road.

 

Plunder

A game of teamwork.  There are six objectives, and you must choose a teammate to do each objective.  The timer starts and everyone runs out into the woods.  They complete the objective, and run back.  Once everyone is finished and back at the start, the timer ends.


The Objectives
I was given the task of Pillaging...

Don't be fooled...this fishy weights about 50 lbs!


Plunder Map
 

Olympic Village

Nice Hockey
 
Basically, a hockey game, played against the other two teams with you on your rotation.  The winners of the three rotations compete in the finals for gold, silver, and bronze.  Two people from a team play at a time, switching how however they like.  Try to score as many goals as you can in 10 minutes.

Norway vs. Great Britian

Palau vs. Peru
 
 
Hockey Sticks
 
Place three pucks on the four X's in the four corners of the rink.  Try to shoot as many into the goal as you can.  (No pictures...nice hockey was far more exciting!)
 
Curling
 
Play against a member of the opposing team.  Slide or push the "stones" onto the circles and knock out your opponent.


For some reason I could never find someone to play against??  So I never actually got to do it...
 
 
Hot Chocolate
 
Basically throwing marshmallows into a cup from different distances.  (And for some reason no one got any pictures of this as well???)  The further the distance the higher the points per one you get in.
 
Big Marshmallows
 
Same as above, only using HUGE marshmallow pillows and throwing them off the porch into a box down below.
 
YUKIGASSEN
 
Essentially Capture the Flag crossed with Dodgeball.  A game is 4 minutes long, with four teams playing at a time.  They place their country flag in a spot and try to keep other teams from stealing it.  If you get hit with a ball, you're out.  If you manage to capture an opposing flag, you must run with it to the middle of the course and get it to the tree with the Russian flag on it (the winning team from last year).  After every team has played 4 rounds, the four teams with the most points compete in the championship.





 
 
Finals
 
Once all the teams have done their rotations, everyone heads back to the Olypmic Village for the Hockey Championship.  Greenland won, followed by Norway, and Palau came in bronze.



 
Then the Ice Dancing and Bad Figure Dancing was held.



 
 
All in all, everyone had a really good time.  Only had to call 911 ONCE - when someone let one of the dogs out.  He took off, running through a crowd of people and tripping Susan.  She fell and dislocated her knee.  But otherwise was unhurt.



A car did get hit with a chunk of ice while Great Britian was ice chucking.  There were also some mixups about timing and how exactly a few things were to be completed.  But all in all, everyone had a great time.


 

Forging the Fellowship

Julia over at Lit Aflame created this tag, which sounds kinda neat!  (Okay, I lied...I actually stressed over these questions and stared at my bookshelf and flipped open books and panicked and then just grabbed some random characters and said this is my fellowship and we're all going to die.)(So thanks Julia, thanks a lot for that.)

 

The Rules
 
Include the tag banner in your post

Link back to the creator of the tag

Thank and link back to the person who tagged you

Forge your Fellowship Out of book characters by answering the given questions!

Tag three bloggers to pass the ring to.

The Questions

[The Ring Bearer]: If you could choose, which of the four races would you be: Elf, Dwarf, Human, or Hobbit?

Umm...honestly, I'd love to live in Rohan. (so um...human??)  All those horses (and more horses)!!!  Edoras has always been a favorite place in the books and movies.  So maybe I'd be a gal from Rohan who travels a lot, maybe has friends among the rangers and visits Rivendell?  :)

[Gandalf the Grey]: A wise/powerful elder/mentor character.

Prof. Hamilton!  Like...who doesn't want him as a mentor??

[Aragorn]: A character with good survival skills.

Leith, hands down.  Have you seen some of the stunts he pulls??  Like riding into the dessert alone...yeah, this guy is a survivor.  (Plus I just want him in my little Fellowship, okay??)

[Boromir]: A character who makes mistakes, but has a good heart.

Parvin, from the Out of Time Trilogy.  Yeah, she makes mistakes, but she's trying.  She may not always have the right idea, but we all know she's got a good heart.

[Gimli]: A stubborn character.

Enna.  Love her, but she's feisty and thick-headed and opinionated and good ol' Finn just puts up with her and they're adorable.

[Legolas]: A character who is talented.

Ahhhhh does wrestling gators, failing at Feechiesings, and causing panic at a play count???  Then I'm going with Dobro Turtlebane, the best part of the entire Wilderking Trilogy.

[Peregrin Took]: A character who at first seems useless, but ends up surprising you.

The first character that came to mind is actually from Sarah Rodecker's story The Herbalist's War, but I don't want to drop any spoilers and get into trouble...

[Meriadoc Brandybuck]: A character who is small/not very strong, but has great courage.

Brandi, from The Blades of Acktar.  She may be just a little girl, but she's brave and courageous (and maybe a tad bit reckless). 

[Samwise Gamgee]: A character who is extremely loyal and doesn’t give up.

Um, the first character that jumped to mind was Cullen from The Silver Branch.  He's a little fellow, but very loyal.  Maybe a tiny bit foolish.  But still fiercely brave.
 
I tag...
 
Someone who knows at least two of these characters...
Someone who might consider wrestling a gator...if it's a baby one
Someone who would gladly live at Rohan

January Wrap-Up

So far, 2019 is wet.  Very wet.  And kinda cold.  I've had a few people tell me that this is the most rain we've ever received in our neck of NC in a looooooong time.  (And we got snow, too.  So yay for that, I guess.)

I spent most of January chilling (relaxing...and freezing).  I read a bunch of books.  I wrote a few little short stories.  Worked with the horses around the house (since all the trails are closed because of the rain).

Also went on a tiny trip to Gatlinburg, TN with my family.  That was nice.  We didn't ski, since Sister 1 is having back problems and wouldn't have been able to hit the slopes with us.  So we went ice skating and did other things.

I did do a lot of ice skating this month.  There's a local rink we go to on Fridays, and we also went skating while in Gatlinburg.  (Also had to go for the Winter Games...I'm on Team Palau and my brother is on Norway.  The official Games are in February, but the ice skating section was earlier, to work with everyone's schedules.)  Sister 2 is able to cruise around by herself without even going near the rail, and Sister 3 will let go of the rail for a few steps at a time.  Meanwhile Sister 1, Brother, and myself are all sailing around, attempting spins and fun stuff like that.  :)

And also went to a hockey game with family and friends.  That was pretty fun.  (And went ice skating before it, lol)

In case you haven't noticed, I've also been updating the look of my blog.  Honestly, I felt like it was a little too dark?  And I just wanted something a little brighter and more cheery.  Also, purple is my favorite color.

Favorite Read of January

Defy, by Tricia Mingerink.  Definitely.  I cried again while reading it.  But it's just sooooo good.  But since it's a re-read, does that count?

If so, my favorite new read of January might just have to be the first part of History of the Reformation Volume I, by Jean-Henri Merle d'Aubigné.  I actually didn't expect to like it so much.  I was planning to only read a chapter a day, sort of on the side.  And the author started with a "pardon me for talking about Geneva so much, and about what happens before Calvin came to it" and I was like oh boy, this is gonna be boring...

Well, let me tell you...it wasn't.  And not only was it really interesting, now I'm looking into writing a historical fiction (maybe historical fantasy, since that's getting popular?) about Geneva and the fight for freedom there.  Cause yeah...it was pretty cool.  Political intrigue, torture, fights, heroes...and I'm reading a lot more a day than I thought I would.

(Or does that one not count either, since I haven't actually finished the entire thing?  I'm now on the second part in the book??)

Favorite Movie of January

At least I have a solid answer for this one!  Hands down, Black Lightning.  Though technically we started watching it in 2018 (so maybe not a solid answer).  It's one of the movies we watched while staying up waiting for the new year to roll around.  It's in Russian, but I believe you can also get a version with English subtitles from Amazon?  But it's such a super cute movie with some very good lessons.  It's kind of a superhero movie?  But really, it's amazing.
 
Daily Bible Reading Plan
 
Going strong!  Haven't gotten behind, and thankfully have gotten somewhat of a schedule down.
 
The Inevitable Photo Dump

Ice storm.
Tree down on the fence after the ice storm.

Working all 3 at once-ride Pepper and lead Spirit and Bree.

Taking the tram in Gatlinburg up to the mountain.

Winter Games - representing Team Palau.


"Story Research"
 
 
How was your January?  It's been pretty cold here in the South, but not as bad as the Midwest, so I hear...so for all my friends who have the negative temperatures, I'm so, so sorry.